Saturday, April 27, 2013

Tech Talk

Yes, we're card collectors, but bloggers also have to have a bit of technical know-how in order to keep the blog running smoothly. Today's post won't deal with cards, but instead, I'm going to look at some recent technical issues I've encountered.
Free is good, but sometimes you get what you pay for. I've got three different free software items to discuss...

Topic 1: The Impending Demise of Google Reader...If you have a blog, you may have noticed that I don't follow your blog...officially. I've never clicked on the "Join This Site" link, yet I keep up with 204 different blogs. The tool that has allowed me to easily follow so many blogs is Google Reader and recently Google announced that it is shutting Google Reader down on July 1.

I was stunned by the news. Reader was such as easy way to stay current with the blogs and it didn't matter what device I used to access it. The scuttlebutt for the shutdown is that Google wasn't able to monetize Reader enough to make it worth their while. But boy was it worth my while!

The day I heard the news I started looking for a replacement. I wanted something free (call me cheap) and something that would sync with whatever digital device I used.
I found Feedly and have been using it ever since. I wasn't going to wait until June 30 to find a replacement, I wanted time to get used to something new while still have Reader available. Feedly is so simple to use that I haven't bothered with Reader, especially since Google has removed the link to Reader in both the black bar and the drop down menu.

My question for other Reader users: what have or are you planning to do? Is there something better/easier than Feedly? Any advice? tips?

Topic 2: Sitemeter Trouble...I, like most bloggers I've encountered, say that we write for the sake of writing and for the love of our hobby, not for massive readership. Yet I must admit (and I bet most of you would too) that I am interested in how many people read Wrigley Wax. It is nice to know that there are people out there taking a look at this. With that in mind, I've had a Sitemeter counter installed on the blog since the beginning.

Since April 4, the meter count has not moved. And my weekly email from Sitemeter shows zero visits. The problem...not what I've been writing (I think!!), but that the Sitemeter server that I'm signed into has died.

Sitemeter has several servers. Mine was s51; you can tell which server you're using by sXX in front of your user name. Server 51 was gone from April 4 - 26.  It came back online the 26th, but it isn't recording any visits I'm not paying for anything, so again, I'm getting what I paid for. A couple weeks ago I did fill out a service request, but I never got a response.

Anyone else on s51? Any decent, free alternative counter sites you can recommend? Maybe I don't even need a counter. It looks like the stats available from Blogger are better than they have been in the past.

Topic 3: Photoscape I'd like to end on a positive note, so let me tell you about some free photo editing software that I use almost every day...Photoscape. This is the software I use to create the different tiles of cards I've featured. The "Combine" feature is easy to use and has many options.

I also use Photoscape to take screen shots when I need Ebay pictures for the blog. It allows me to take the screen shot and then crop and resize the picture in a matter of's a very simple feature.

Finally, Photoscape has a easy-to-use rotate editing feature. I use this when scans are crooked. I can't stand crooked scans...I need perfect vertical and horizontal!! Photoscape allows me to straighten up cards so they look right.

I'm not a paid spokesman for Photoscape, but I like what it can do and I love it's
You can download it here.


  1. I started out with sitemeter, but a long time ago I also began using, which is something I'm certain you will be impressed with.

  2. Feedly is where I landed too. I used to follow blogs on blogger because Google Reader auto-added them to Reader, although it's not like it was really that hard to add them manually. There are a few interface tweaks I would make, such as not automatically marking things read as I jump to them, but overall I've gotten used to the difference.

  3. I've switched to Feedly as well, my main reason choosing them would be they have apps on my Android and my Kindle devices because I use those more at work to keep up on blogs. I didn't like it at first, but they've updated it a few times and corrected the issues that I was having. It seems a little slower loading up then GR was but hopefully that'll get better with time too.

  4. Feedly is definitely the way to go; I came to the same conclusion as you after Readers untimely demise! Although I haven't tried it out, Photoscape sounds promising and I'll probably give it a shot. Thanks!

  5. I was having the same concern come up the past few weeks. Thanks for all the input, guys. I just made the switch to Feedly. Seems decent, though I haven't had much luck organizing all your blogs I follow yet.

    Time to start the hunt for a Feedly - Blogger plug-in...

    ...anyone? Bueller? Bueller?